Tom: It's awfully nice to be here. Especially, I want to thank all those people who are forced to watch because I told them I was going to be on the show.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TRIBUTE: GSN aired this episode on July 16, 2006 as part of a month-long airing of "WML?" episodes with at least one game featuring a baseball-related figure, in connection with the 70th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame. It had last been aired in regular rotation on GSN on March 13, 2006.
Also as part of the Baseball Hall of Fame Tribute, on July 8, 2006 GSN aired an episode of the syndicated color incarnation of "WML?" on which Mr. Mays appeared as a mystery guest. The episode, hosted by Wally Bruner, was from Week #7 of the syndicated run, taped on August 20, 1968, and the panel on that occasion consisted of Soupy Sales, Joanna Barnes, Nipsey Russell and Arlene Francis. - W-B (2006)
REVIEW: Two weeks earlier, it was ladies night on WML, as all the contestants, including mystery guest Anne Bancroft, were women. This evening it was time for the men to step forward as all the guests for this episode were of the masculine persuasion. As for the games themselves, it definitely was a marked improvement as the panel had a very successful night. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that they ran out of time in the final game, they might have had a perfecto. Things got started in a big way in the first game as Arlene correctly identified the "Say Hey Kid" Willie Mays. Willie was in town for a series against the Mets and earlier that day was playing in a double header. As it turned out, the game didn't end until 9:30 PM, which caused some concern that he wouldn't make it for his WML appearance. However, he did make it to the studio on time and was able to take part in the show. In the second game, Bennett had the honor of correctly identifying Robert Shennum, the designer of the then state of the art Telstar satellite. Of course, in those days, the Telstar was considered the greatest leap forward in communications since television. In the second mystery guest round, Dorothy identified future WML guest panelist Paul Anka. There was some concern that Paul wouldn't make it either, since he had been performing earlier that evening at Freedomland USA. However, he did make it, but his voice was a little worse for wear. Still, he carried on and managed to get a plug in for the film "The Longest Day," which he wrote the score for. Unfortunately, in the final game, the panel failed to guess that the contestant was a weight guesser, but they still had a fun and enjoyable evening. - Sargebri (2006)
PAUL ANKA: As mystery guest Paul Anka mentioned during the post game chat, he had just completed work on the score for the film adaptation of Cornelius Ryan's novel "The Longest Day." Paul also had a small part in the film as a life jacket-wearing U.S. Army Ranger who participated in the assault on Pointe Du Hoc during the invasion. Also, Paul would go on to write another famous theme song, as he wrote the familiar theme to the "Tonight Show." Ironically, Tom Poston announced during the introductions that Arlene would be filling in as host during the transition between the Jack Paar era and the Johnny Carson era. - Sargebri (2006)
WILLIE MAYS: As was mentioned earlier, Willie Mays was in town with the Giants to play against the Mets. Ironically, the Mets then current home was the Polo Grounds, the former home of the Giants, who played there when they were in New York. What made it doubly ironic was the fact that several years later, Willie, in the twilight of his illustrious career, would finish his career with the Mets. In fact, he played on their 1973 National League champion squad that took the eventual World Series champion Oakland A's to seven games. Also, Bennett asked Willie if he thought that the Giants would be able to catch the Dodgers. The Giants did wind up catching the Dodgers and the two teams finished in a tie for first place, forcing a best two out of three playoff that the Giants won 2 games to 1. Unfortunately, the Giants lost the World Series in seven games to the Yankees. - Sargebri (2006)
Tonight's guest panelist, Tom Poston, joked that he was so used to asking straight questions as part of the "To Tell the Truth" panel, that he almost made a mistake a couple of times and asked questions that couldn't be answered yes or no. Tom also joked that he wanted to ask a contestant if he were the real person. Of course, Tom was part of a long line of TTTT panelists that have graced the WML panel. Among those who did cross over were:
Kitty Carlisle (the Grande Dame of TTTT)
John Cameron Swayze
In fact, Kitty Carlisle was on the WML panel the week after Dorothy's tragic passing in November 1965. Also, Phyllis Newman would become the most prolific female guest panelist, especially after Dorothy's passing. Of course, Phyllis would fill in for Dorothy during the first week of Dorothy's second stay at the LeRoy Sanitarium. Also, in 1966, the then current TTTT panel of Kitty, Tom, Peggy and Orson made a group mystery guest appearance on WML. Ironically, the person who correctly identified them was Phyllis, who was on the WML panel that night. - Sargebri (2006)
Another interesting fact about Tom Poston: When the classic 1965-1970 spy spoof "Get Smart" was being cast, the first choice for the role of "Secret Agent 86, Maxwell Smart" was Tom Poston. Unfortunately for Tom, he was beaten out for the role by the man who made the role famous, Don Adams. Ironically, Tom would make a guest appearance during that show's fourth season as mad scientist "Dr. Zharko" in the episode "Shock It To Me." - Sargebri (2006)
KILGALLEN WATCH!!! Once again there was a slight thickness to Dorothy's voice as if she might have been enjoying a cocktail or two before the show. Of course, her problems would get worse before they got better - resulting in her second stay at the LeRoy Sanitarium in March 1963. - Sargebri
FREEDOMLAND: Paul Anka mentioned that he had just been performing at Freedomland. Freedomland was an attempt to have a "Disney" style theme park in New York. It was located up in the north Bronx and its area was larger than Disneyland. The "Theme" was "American History" and you could see a recreation of the Chicago Fire and ride through the San Francisco Earthquake. But the park had no thrill rides and since it could only be open in the spring and summer, as opposed to Disneyland being open year round, it was not very popular after its first year. The opening of the World's Fair in 1964 was the final straw and Freedomland closed. A large housing development (Co-op City) now stands on the site of Freedomland. - ymike673
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards after Willie Mays was guessed at two down. John said he was sure that Willie Mays would be giving his winnings to some sort of charity, although the charity wasn't named. John flipped all of the cards for the second challenger at five down, although Bennett correctly identified the contestant as being involved with design and construction for the Telstar satellite. On the finally challenger, John started wildly flipping cards at five down, finally flipping them all when the panel couldn't get the occupation after several wild guesses. - agent_0042
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's show is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company. This is the last "live" edition of "WML?" on which the insurer is an alternate sponsor. The next few shows with Allstate sponsorship are all pre-taped.
(2) Guest panelist Tom Poston is currently appearing in the Broadway play "Come Blow Your Horn," which was the first of many plays written by Neil Simon. Also, during the introductions, Dorothy mentions that Tom is appearing as a panelist on "To Tell the Truth," though according to IMDb, he didn't become a regular panelist on "TTTT" until 1964.
(3) "WML?" CREW CREDITS WATCH: For the third week in a row, the post of production supervisor is missing from the final crew credit card. Tonight, Alan J. Shalleck is once again associate director, while Bob Barry is credited as lighting director. - W-B
Tom Poston commented that Arlene Francis will appear as a guest host tomorrow night (July 16, 1962) for "The Tonight Show" which was hosted by Jack Paar until he left the program in March 1962. The show was hosted by guests until October 1962 when Johnny Carson took over hosting duties. - Suzanne
Paul Anka just finished a week of performing at the New York theme park Freedomland, USA. He promoted the 1962 film, "The Longest Day," for which he composed the music. He also starred in this movie as a U.S. Army Ranger. - Suzanne
Telstar 1, primarily a communications satellite, was launched on July 10, 1962. On July 11, 1962, the Radome in Pleumeur-Bodou, France received the first transatlantic television signal from its sister station in Andover, Maine via the Telstar satellite launched the previous day. In the following six months, about 400 transmission sessions were conducted with multichannel telephone, telegraph, facsimile, and television signals. In addition, over 250 technical tests and measurements had been performed. Stations in the United States, Britain, and France participated in these activities. In November 1962, the command subsystem on the satellite failed. The cause was later established as degradation of transistors due to Van Allen belt radiation. Various operations effected a recovery that allowed the satellite to be used for another month and a half early in 1963, after which the command subsystem failed again. Telstar 2 was nearly identical to Telstar 1. The only significant design change was the use of radiation-resistant transistors in the command decoders. The Telstar 2 satellite orbit had a higher apogee than Telstar 1, which increased the time in view of the ground stations and decreased the time in the Van Allen belts. Telstar 2 was launched on May 7, 1963, and operated successfully for two years. - Suzanne
The panel laughed as Jack Lambert (the weight guesser) was leaving. Arlene gleefully reported, "I asked him what my weight was, and he replied 'it's wonderful.'" - Suzanne
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Tom Poston, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.